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Indonesia: Court sides with bishop, rules diocese may build church

CWN - February 18, 2010

A provincial court in West Java has ruled that the Diocese of Bandung is permitted to construct a church. Local authorities had granted a construction license but then rescinded it following protests from radical Muslims.

“Many local authorities are easy targets for extremist Muslim groups and they yield to their pressure, accommodating to their demands,” said Bishop Johannes Pujasumarta. “There may be drastic reactions, but we are prepared for every eventuality. We will respond with prayer and with non-violent gestures, such as fasting and silent meditation, which are the weapons of the Christian in this time of Lent.”

86% of Indonesia’s 224.9 million people are Muslim. 6% are Protestant, and 3% are Catholic. A remarkable 40 million people live within the boundaries of Bishop Pujasumarta’s diocese, and only 0.3% of them are Catholic.

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